The consortium’s purpose is to understand what people already know about their history and what they’re most interested in preserving.
Totaling $250,000, the grant funds six community workshops on archiving and legacy management.
Community engagement archivist Tanya Calvin said legacy management has always been critical, which is why it’s especially important to find ways to gather and tell stories during COVID.
“Generations from now our great, great, great grandchildren will be able to tell our stories accurately because we did the work of preserving them right now.”
Anything related to Black people in and around Chicago can be part of the archival history – from civil rights activism and education to politics, photography, buildings and landmarks.
“The BMRC’s mission is to be essential to the preservation of the Black history in Chicago,” Calvin said. “We have taken that to heart recently with learning about the community’s wants and needs to archive their own materials.”
The survey is anonymous, however, those taking the survey can choose to enter an archival toolkit raffle by including their contact information.
The winner will receive an acid-free box filled with acid-free folders; photo and document sleeves; a USB drive; a notebook; pencils; a tip sheet about how to archive historical materials; a list of apps to archive and conduct oral histories; and a brochure with information from Legacy Management Resource Portal, a resource about archiving personal or organizational collections, or donating materials to a museum, library or archive.
Throughout the month of February, the consortium is also having a social media campaign to shine a light on marginalized and underrepresented Black groups.